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Soviet Union Foreign Affairs 1929 - 1941. Foreign Policy in the 1920s Memories of Civil War –Foreign Intervention British, French, US, Japanese Capitalists.

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Presentation on theme: "Soviet Union Foreign Affairs 1929 - 1941. Foreign Policy in the 1920s Memories of Civil War –Foreign Intervention British, French, US, Japanese Capitalists."— Presentation transcript:

1 Soviet Union Foreign Affairs

2 Foreign Policy in the 1920s Memories of Civil War –Foreign Intervention British, French, US, Japanese Capitalists fundamentally opposed to Communist system Lenin and Trotsky’s World View –Marxism was a global phenomenon –The Revolution had to be exported ASAP Russo-Polish War of 1920 –See-Saw War –Both sides Overextended themselves –Narrowly averted a disaster – allowed Whites to Resurrect Civil War in South of Russia

3 “Comrade Lenin cleans the world of filth.” –The Promise of exporting Revolution COMINTERN set up in 1919 to achieve World Revolution

4 The Bolshevik Dilemma How to deal with the nations of the world –Work to undermine them Or –Develop Diplomatic relations with them Consider advantages/disadvanta ges for both of the them!

5 Source’s AuthorDateDesire to Spread World Revolution Socialism in One Coutnry

6 Source 1 “Comrade Lenin cleans the world of filth.” –1920

7 Source 2 “We have always and repeatedly pointed out to the workers that the underlying chief task and basic condition of our victory is the propagation of revolution at least to several of the more advanced countries” –Lenin, Feb 1921

8 Source 3 “We go to it because trade with Capitalist countries (so long as they have not altogether collapsed) is unconditionally necessary for us” –Lenin explaining why he was attending the International Conference at Genoa in 1922

9 Source 4 “The way out lies only in the victory of the Proletariat of the advanced countries. Viewed from this standpoint, a national revolution is not a self-contained whole; it is only a link in the internal chain. The international revolution constitutes a permanent process, despite declines and ebbs.” –Trotsky, 1930

10 Source 5 “The ensuring of peace cannot depend on our efforts alone, it requires the collaboration and co-operation of other states. While therefore trying to establish and maintain relations with all states, we are giving special attention to strengthening and making close our relations with those which, like us, give proof of their sincere desire to maintain peace and are ready to resist those who break the peace.” –Litvinov, 1933

11 Source 6 “The USSR would never be swayed by alliances with this or that foreign power, be it France, Poland or Germany, but would always base her policy on self-interest” –Stalin, 1934

12 Source 7 “We toilers of the Soviet Union must count on our own efforts in defending our affairs and, above all, on our Red Army in the defence of our Country” –Molotov, 1936

13 Source 8 “This time we shall observe the contest between Germany and the Western powers and shall not intervene in the conflict until we ourselves feel it fit to do so in order to bring about the decision” –Litvinov to Czech FO, 1938

14 Source 9 “England and France have rejected the policy of collective security…and taken a position of non-intervention…the policy of non-intervention reveals an eagerness not to hinder Germany… from embroiling herself in a war with the Soviet Union… be cautious and do not allow Soviet Russia to be drawn into the conflicts by wargmongers who are accustomed to have others pull their chestnuts out of the fire.” –Stalin, 1939

15 Source 10

16 Development of Soviet Foreign Policy Phase 1 (1917 – 8) –Revolutionary Period Phase 2 (1918 – 1920) –Civil War Period Phase 3 (1921 – 1927) –Recovery and Peace Phase 4 (1928 – 1933) –The Left Turn Phase 5 (1933 – 1938) –Collective Security Phase 6 (1938 – 1941) –Self-Preservation

17 Development of Soviet Foreign Policy - Phase One The Revolutionary Period –October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution –February 1918 Cancellation of all Foreign debts –March 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk –Humiliating but a price worth paying according to Lenin –Allows Bolsheviks to consolidate power

18 Phase Two The Civil War – Foreign Intervention in Civil War –March 1919 COMINTERN established –Apr-Oct 1920 Russo-Polish War –Nov 1920 Evacuation of Crimea

19 G. V. Chicherin Foreign Commissioner Ex-Menshevik and Ex-Aristocrat –Worked for Tsarist Foreign Ministry Educated but emotional –Converted to Bolshevism whilst forcibly sent on holiday to ‘Cure’ his Homosexuality – Chance meeting with Lenin Pro-German –Treaty of Brest-Litovsk –Treaty of Rapallo Anti-British –Had been imprisoned by British 1917 – 1918 for anti-war –Disliked Curzon Advocated policy of engagement –Engage Capitalists in order to stop them uniting against Communist Russia Not a member of the Politburo

20 Phase Three Recovery and Peace 1921 – 1927 –1921 Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement –1922 Treaty of Rapallo –1923 Curzon Ultimatum over Central Asian communist adventures Threatened suspension of trade agreement –1924 USSR officially recognised by GB, France & Italy Forged Zinoviev Letter –COMINTERN urging propaganda in British Armed Forces –Victorious Conservatives cold shouldered USSR for a year –1926 Treaty of Berlin extended Treaty of Rapallo General Strike in Britain – Comintern involvement Socialism in One Country idea proposed by Stalin –1927 Chinese communists massacred by Chiang Kai Shek Diplomatic Relations suspended with Britain

21 Why did Soviet Foreign Policy become more Conservative in the 1920s? Russian Polish War disaster Bolshevik Consolidation –Internal positioning within Politburo Conservatives backed safe Stalin Leftists backed the more aggressive Trotsky Economic Disaster in Post World War One and Post Civil War Russia –Economically backward when Tsarist Myriad National Identities within USSR –Plenty to keep Red Army busy regaining the old borders of Tsarist Russia Fear of Capitalists –Had to prepare for a re-invasion of Foreigners –Fear of Proxy wars Capitalists might use Turks, Poles or Persians to reignite RCW Avoid War on Two Fronts – Japan and Germany Unstable Borders –Germany, China, Japan in Korea, British in India

22 Relations with Britain 1921 Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement –Positive on both sides –Pragmatic Conservatives suspicious of Communists –Seizure of private property –Curzon ultimatum 1923 –Zinoviev letter –Arcos Raid 1927 Soviet Trade delegation accused of spying Diplomatic relations suspended Labour shifts from positive to suspicious –Recognises USSR 1924 –1926 General Strike TUC returns £26,000 cheque Labelled Social Fascists by Stalin in – 1922 –Lloyd George Liberal Coalition 1922 – 23 –Conservative 1924 –First ever Labour minority government 1924 – 1929 –Conservative 1929 – 1931 –Labour minority 1931 – 1940 –National governments

23 Relations with Germany Rapallo Treaty 1922 –Stresemann stabilises Eastern borders –Helps get around T of V Active Comintern activity in uprisings –1919, 1921, 1923 Locarno Treaties –Worried Soviets that Germans were being reintegrated into Europe Treaty of Berlin 1926 –Included pledge of Neutrality if either were attacked by a Third nation Weak Weimar Governments –Conservative Stresemann most positive towards USSR Germany has enough problems! –SPD hostile to USSR due to uncompromising attitude of KPD –Rising spectre of Nazis 1933 electoral success Hitler represented the final stage of monopoly capitalism – he would inflame social tensions making revolution more likely in Germany - Stalin

24 Phase 4 – The Left Turn Follows Stalin’s Domestic U-Turn –Ditched Bukharin’s Right Wing Policies –Stalin able to dominate Politburo and Comintern Bukharin replaced by compliant Molotov Foreign Communist Party leaders replaced –Intellectuals replaced by pliant working class »German Communist Party Scandal – Corrupt Thaelmann reinstated by Stalin –Back to basics (and Anti-Trotskyite) Socialists labelled as Social Fascists and Counter- Revolutionaries –KPD fails to help SPD as a result »“Nach Hitler Uns – After Hitler Us”

25 M. M. Litvinov Foreign Commissar Chicherin’s deputy in 1920s Ex-Menshevik, Jewish –Married to a British woman Talented negotiator Proposed Disarmament first –Helps to defend USSR –Helps Communist Revolutions –Kellogg-Briand Pact Pro-British Anti-German Proposed Collective Security otherwise –In favour of League of Nations Joins in 1934 Not a member of the Politburo

26 Phase 5 – Collective Security March 1934 –Trade agreement with Germany Sept 1934 –League of Nations - Litvinov’s Collective Security Policy May 1935 –Pacts with France and Czechoslovakia August 1935 –COMINTERN supports Popular Fronts 1936 – 1939 –Spanish Civil War Nov 1936 –Anti-COMINTERN pact of Germany & Japan (Italy 1937) Sep 1938 –Munich agreement (USSR excluded) 1938/9 –Japanese military attacks in Far East (Manchukuo) April 1939 –Litvinov proposes triple Military alliance – Britain, France and USSR May 1939 –Litvinov replaced by Molotov

27 Spanish Civil War Intervention or Non- Intervention? Second Republic established 1931 –Republicans, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, Separatists Traditional Nationalist Hostile –Army, Catholic Church, Landowners, Centralists Nazi Germany and Italy supported Nationalists Britain and France wanted to let Spain sort itself out. Stalin’s dilemma? –What should he do?

28 Reasons to intervene Ideological battle –Communism versus Fascism Soviet Security –Keep Germany and Italy busy –Help Natural anti-German ally France from being surrounded by Fascists Fight Trotskyites –Trotskyite Communists were flocking to Spain to show a viable alternative form of Communism from Stalinism Military practice –Allow hardware and tactics to be tried out on the battlefield Prestige –Be seen as standing up to the forces of Fascism

29 Reasons not to intervene Strategic Concerns –Spain is far from Soviet borders Reaction of Italy and Germany –Force the two countries closer together in an Anti- Communist crusade Reaction of Britain and France –A successful communist intervention might scare Britain and France closer to Germans –Show disregard for League of Nations and of collective security Domestic Concerns –Busy with anti-Trotskyite Purges Military in particular –Five year plans less successful than hoped for –USSR not prepared for sustained war of any kind

30 Stalin’s Decision Limited “Secret” Intervention –Can help fight Fascists but avoid any blame if intervention fails (or succeeds) –Particularly worried about the position of France Helping to keep France ‘Democratic’ and not fall into hands of Fascists. NKVD directed to control Comintern activities –Channel funds –Ship goods secretly Via neutral countries –Kindly volunteer to look after Spanish Gold Reserves –Caballero Letter, 1936 Calm down Communist demands –No social or economic radicalism –Foreign property to be respected –Attract non-communist sympathisers

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32 Civil War within a Civil War Barcelona, 1937 –Safe in Republican hands but Anarchists and POUM (Trotskyite Communists) think that Republican (and Soviet) Communists are being too pragmatic –Uprising – Fighting in the Streets Stalin asks NKVD to crush POUM Feeds into Purges in USSR –People being denounced left, right and centre –NKVD executing anyone ‘accused’ of being Trotskyite Infighting fatally weakened Republicans and allowed united Nationalists to ultimately triumph by 1939

33 Was it worth it? Positives –4 th largest Gold Reserves in the world –Seen Fascist Equipment and Tactics in Operation –Limited Trotskyism as an international alternative to Stalinism Negatives –Failed to save Republican Spain –Seen Fascist Equipment and Tactics in Operation –Ruthless Communist tactics revealed to the world Infighting and purges discredited Communism –Serving Officers and Diplomats were ‘tainted’ by exposure to Trotskyite ideas Most executed or re-educated on return Experiences wasted –Britain and France less than impressed by their potential ally Nail in coffin of Litvinov’s collective security philosophy

34 What! No Chair for me?

35 Czechoslovakian Crisis Stalin’s last attempt at Collective Security –Willing to consider aiding Czechs –However, No Physical border with Czechs Polish antipathy –French and British allied to Poles –Allies found it frustrating dealing with one dictator let alone a second. –Allies suspicious of Communist motives after Spanish Civil War debacle –Mussolini was supposed to be the neutral Referee – hostile to USSR Lessons learnt –Stalin – Trust no-one USSR must look after its own security –Hitler – The Allies are weak and divided –Chamberlain and Briand – Allies made to look ridiculous – determination not to be pushed around again Reaffirm Polish treaties –Further antagonises Stalin

36 Molotov Foreign Commissar Replaced anti-German Litvinov –Litvinov had failed to cement deal with British and French Stalin stooge –The ultimate Yes Man Leader of Comintern from 1929 Member of Politburo Stalin’s Deputy

37 The Nazi Soviet Pact The most startling diplomatic event of the 1930s One week before Second World War Treaty of Neutrality –Secret Additional Protocol Carved up hated Poland and marked out spheres of influence in Eastern Europe Why –Relative weakness of Russian Armed Services 1938 purge of Red Army –Japan border disputes Open warfare in Siberia One enemy at a time Worried at being surrounded –Relative ineffectiveness of Five year plans Not delivering fully advertised output –Need more time to deal with German army –Create a Buffer zone for added defence against German Army –Not yet fully aware of capabilities of German Army Pre-Blitzkrieg Hopes France and Germany will fight long drawn out attritional war a la WWI –Begrudging Respect for Hitler and Nazi regime –After Czechoslovakia Realised that he cold not rely on Capitalist British and French

38 Phase 6 – Nazi Soviet Love-in 8 May 1939 –Britain rejects military alliance with Russia 20 th May 1939 –Germany asks for trade talks 27 th May 1939 –Chamberlain restarts talks with Russia 18 th July –Soviets offer Trade deal to Germans 23 rd July –Britain and France ask for military talks Drax arrives 11 th August 14 th August 1939 –Ribbentrop asks to see Stalin personally 19 th August –Anglo-Soviet negotiations break down –German Soviet Trade deal announced 20 th August –Hitler asks Stalin to meet Ribbentrop 21 st August –Stalin agrees 22 nd August –Ribbentrop flies to Moscow 23 rd August –Nazi Soviet Non-Aggression pact signed

39 The Government of the German Reich and The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics desirous of strengthening the cause of peace between Germany and the U.S.S.R., and proceeding from the fundamental provisions of the Neutrality Agreement concluded in April, 1926 between Germany and the U.S.S.R., have reached the following Agreement: Article I. Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other, either individually or jointly with other Powers. Article II. Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third Power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third Power. Article III. The Governments of the two High Contracting Parties shall in the future maintain continual contact with one another for the purpose of consultation in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interests. Article IV. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties shall participate in any grouping of Powers whatsoever that is directly or indirectly aimed at the other party. Article V. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions. Article VI. The present Treaty is concluded for a period of ten years, with the proviso that, in so far as one of the High Contracting Parties does not advance it one year prior to the expiration of this period, the validity of this Treaty shall automatically be extended for another five years. Article VII. The present treaty shall be ratified within the shortest possible time. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin. The Agreement shall enter into force as soon as it is signed.

40 Secret Additional Protocol. Article I. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party. Article II. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state, the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narev, Vistula and San. The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish States and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments. In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement. Article III. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinteredness in these areas. Article IV. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

41 Essay Question Did Stalin make the correct strategic decision by signing the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939? –Debate The failure of Collective Security in Europe in the late 1930s was not the fault of Stalin. Discuss Stalin’s Foreign Policy was an extension of his Domestic Politics. Discuss.


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